The 365 Challenge: What are you thankful for?

Yes tomorrow is the official day that we set aside for being ‘Thankful’ but in reality Thanksgiving Day should be a reminder/wakeup call to be thankful, grateful or mindful every day of the year! My challenge to you is to help me do a 365!  I am starting a thankful list on this blog and am challenging all my followers and friends to add to it in the comments section. The goal? To reach a grand total of at least 365 items to be thankful for before Thanksgiving Day is over.

Can we do it? Yes we can!!

I am thankful for: good health, home, my daughter, my husband, my little mama, my son and daughter-in-law, brothers, sister-in-laws, nephews and their families, my great-nephew, our dogs Sparkle and Dexter, all my aunts, uncles and cousins, my faith, freedom, my eyesight, my hearing, my strange mind, creativity, my legs for exercising, sense of touch, sunshine, sunrise, sunset, the smell of rain, fingers to type with, my friends of all ages, backgrounds, and interests who make my life so much fun, good memories that sustain me, bad memories to learn from, silence, giggling babies, hot chocolate, my voice, singing, rhythm, pumpkins, squash, chocolate, pecans, old photographs, books, shoes, clothes, reading glasses, fingernails, fuzzy socks, popcorn, warm soup on a cold day, hot apple cider, sticky notes, my car, feet for walking, soft, warm blankets, puppies, clients who hire me to speak, Facebook friends, the Mogul Mom Community, the ability to be a friend to others, learning that never ends, listening skills, compassion, grandmothers, inventors, my imagination that fuels my soul, artwork that appeals to the heart and eye, teachers of all kinds, disciplines, and temperaments, volunteers that make our world better for no other reason but to make it better, journals with blank pages waiting to be filled, the smell of cinnamon, the musicality of my mother’s wind chimes from the farm that sounds like God talking to me, artist talent, electricity, LinkedIn connections, people who understand computers, and much, much MORE!

Now it’s your turn; comment on this blog by listing what you are thankful for and help me meet the 365 challenge!

 

 

Top Ten Tips for Trick-or-Treating

Pink Sherbet Photography / Foter

Pumpkins, scary sounds, masks, costumes, blowing leaves, and lots of sugar, it must be October! I enjoy Halloween as much as anyone, but I do admit that, as a parent, there are precautions that must be taken to be sure my child is safe while having a good time. Before your children venture out this October 31st, go over these ten tips and explain why they are important. Yeah it’s boring and time consuming but do it anyway; it’s a parent thing!

1. Make sure children are accompanied by an adult or responsible teenager when they go door to door.

2. If children are going to be out after dark, make sure they carry a flashlight. Make a fun one yourself with a plastic pumpkin cut to fit over the front of a regular flashlight.

3. Teach your children to use the sidewalks if they can. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing cars.

4. Know which friends your children will be with and which route they are taking.

5. Leave your porch light on so children will know it’s OK to visit your home.

6. Instruct children to never to eat anything until they are home and the treats have been carefully examined. Cut and wash fruit before eating. Throw away anything unwrapped. Check the wrappers of commercial treats for evidence of tampering.

7. Look for the label Flame Resistant on purchased costumes or use fire resistant fabric or treat it with fire resistant spray if you make costumes yourself.

8. Small children should never carve pumpkins. Instead, let your child draw a face on the pumpkin with markers and paint, or use stickers to decorate.

9. Keep candles, pumpkins with candles, matches and lighters in a place that children and pets can’t reach and away from curtains and other objects that could catch fire.

10. Be extra careful when driving. Slow down and watch for children who might be so excited they forget safety rules.

My Corner of the World

This is my ‘decked out for fall’ front porch. I love this porch because it has room for our whole family and more to hang out and the ceiling fans make it comfortable through at least three seasons of the year. I obsess way too much when I decorate the porch, but it all works out and I think this fall I did an outstanding job! (maybe I went a little far with that statement but I’m leaving it in!)

    This is guy started out as a dried gourd, but every time I looked at the gourd I saw a bird so I turned it into my version of a quail. Now he perches on my front porch steps in a nest that blew out of a nearby tree. I think he’s pretty happy!

   I found awesome mums this year and using the two colors really walks the eye up and down the steps, don’t you think? For the other props I walked around my house and scavenged through my basement and attic to pull out items to accessorize the look.  Below you can see more details of how the decorations carry up onto the porch. Wish you were here!

 

 

Fall Bounty

Fall is my favorite season. The cooler temperature, especially after this summer’s record high 100 degree and above days is more than a welcome relief.

Thomas Hawk / Foter

And I love apples! The vibrant colors, the sweet but not too sweet smell the crunchy sound that’s made when you bite into one. We live in mid-Missouri apple orchard country and a September ritual is to visit an orchard or two and collect the bounty of fall. Yesterday afternoon the whole family, including Dexter the Dog went to a local orchard in Waverly, Missouri. We spent an hour carefully picking out our purchases of Jonathon, Fuji, and Jonagold apples.  Did I mention that I love apples? But there was more!

We gathered pumpkins, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, ornamental gourds, apple cider and red potatoes.  The final thing we do is get a glass of homemade apple cider slush for the road! And watch those beautiful puffy clouds on our way home!

For an easy to make yummy apple treat that requires no baking and little time,  try my Apple Dippity Doos.

Apple Dippity Doos

Both kids and adults will love this easy to mix up treat!

Crunchy Dip

Mix: 1 cup chunky peanut butter, 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal, 1/4 cup raisins

Cut up apple wedges and dip away. Feel free to customize to your taste by substituting chocolate chips or other small fruit bits for the raisins. Try it warm by zapping the dip a few seconds in the microwave before dipping.

Creamy Dip

Mix: 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt, dash of cinnamon,  and 1/2 cup whipped topping.

Slice apples, dip, and repeat!